Photo of Khaw Boon Wan from Yahoo

Singapore Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan openly lied claiming that S$250 million has been spent on the construction of the High Speed Rail (HSR) terminal in Jurong.

According to media reports, the HSR is currently only at surveying and planning stage, with standards and engineering studies done so far.  Including the land acquisition costs for a country club, the total costs added thus far is only $115 million, or less than half the amount made up by Transport Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

In Dec 2015, Jurong Country Club was compensated S$89.5 million for 67 hectares of land. Only 12 hectares are reserved for the HSR construction, but no work has been done on the actual site since it was handed over to the government in Feb 2017. The second golf club, Raffles Country Club, singled out for land acquisition has not reported how much compensation were given by the Singapore government, or if any compensation has been given yet. Raffles Country Club is currently still in operations. None of the country club members has been compensated yet.

In Feb 2017, several trade specialist consultancy companies led by American-firm AECOM won a S$24.6 million contract for “advanced engineering study”.

Also in February, a three-firm consortium, made up of WSP Engineering, Mott MacDonald and Ernst & Young Advisory Services, were awarded a S$34.9 million contract for developing technical and safety standards with both Singapore and Malaysia authorities. The actual amount paid for Singapore is estimated to be about half the amount at S$17.5 million, sharing the cost with Malaysia.

The total amount added up to only S$115 million, or less than half the S$250 million claimed by the Singapore Transport Minister.

In an earlier announcement, Minister Khaw Boon Wan stated that he will add “incurred costs”, of the S$250 million spent, on top of the S$168 million (RM500 million) penalty to Malaysia. The ex-Malaysian Minister disregarded the fact that Singapore’s neighbour and his former birth place is currently in a S$340 million (RM1 trillion) debt.

The HSR project has thus far proven to be a cash cow for companies with crony links to the ruling party government of Singapore. One of the companies, Meinhardt Group, has PAP MP Lee Bee Wah as a director sitting in its board. Another ruling party crony company is CPG Facilities Management, a town council management firm in-charge of managing PAP town councils. CPG hit headlines two years ago for corruption at the Prime Minister’s constituency, Ang Mo Kio GRC.